Fascism and fake news, snobbery and elitism…
Thinking whilst being entertained…

Burr, we studied, and we fought, and we killed

For the notion of a nation we now get to build.

For once in your life, take a stand with pride

I don’t understand how you stand to the side.

—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Non-Stop

 

Once upon a time, in a land closer than we’d like to think…Epic Cabaret

We all know that politics are dull and boring. Lots of old people in government buildings, debating proposals that have too many pages for anyone to understand. Talking for hours, going in circles. Who could possibly follow these debates?

In a world of fascism and fake news, we can no longer afford to take this attitude.

On the 1st and 2nd of June, the Year 11 Theatre cohort performed their Epic Cabaret. Bertolt Brecht’s Epic Theatre strips away the pretence of theatricality in order to make audiences think as much as they are entertained. The Year 11s’ production briefing was simple: choose a political issue and create a 10-15-minute performance exploring it. These performances were showcased in our Theatre studio, transformed by a smoke machine and Reuben Johnson’s musical accompaniment into a Weimar-era German speakeasy.

This was a didactic wonderland, full of free food and newspaper and allegories—a loud space inviting audience participation and a tiny bit of ranting and raving. Amidst snobbery and elitism, it was a timely reminder of what theatre could and should be: an art form that is urgent, articulate, and fun, playfully picking apart our world and our beliefs. I know I’m young and I’m not supposed to have an opinion on this—because how could I possibly understand it? — but I think this is exactly what our world needs: people brave enough to speak eloquently and engagingly in support of those who can’t speak for themselves.

That’s what each and every one of our Year 11 Theatre students were able to do last week. O’tsu kare sama deshita.

…article written by Samantha Hammond, Year 12